Tenants who may get compensation
If you are a secure tenant of the Housing Executive you may be able to get compensation for any approved improvements to your house or flat. In special circumstances, where you are unable to make a claim, others may be able to claim on your behalf.
If you have succeeded to the tenancy, in other words, if you have taken it over from a tenant who has died, contact the district office to find out if you qualify for compensation.
You can get more details at your local Housing Executive district office.
When you can't get compensation
You will not receive compensation if:
- you buy your house or flat under the House Sales scheme
- NIHE is repossessing your home
- you are being given a new tenancy for your existing home
Landlord's permission to make improvements
You must get written permission from the Housing Executive before you make any improvements to your home. If they refuse permission, you can appeal the decision to the area manager or the county court.
You will only receive compensation if the Housing Executive agreed to the improvements.
You cannot claim compensation for interior decorating your home.
Improvements you can make
You can only get compensation for certain improvements. These include installing, replacing or fitting:
- a bath or shower
- a wash-hand basin
- a toilet
- a kitchen sink
- storage cupboards in bathroom or kitchen
- work surfaces for food preparation
- space or water heating
- thermostatic radiator valves
- insulation of pipes, water tank or cylinder
- loft insulation
- cavity wall insulation
- draught proofing external doors or windows
- double glazing or other external window replacement
- secondary glazing
- rewiring or the provision of power and lighting or other electrical fittings (including smoke detectors)
- any object that improves the security of the house but excluding burglar alarms
What you can include in your claim
You can claim compensation for:
- cost of materials except appliances such as cookers or fridges
- labour costs except your own labour
When you apply for compensation, you need to give the Housing Executive an invoice showing the cost of the improvements.
When to claim compensation
You must make a written claim to your district office :
- 28 days before your tenancy ends
- 21 days after your tenancy ends
Contact your district office for advice.
Your district office will need to know:
- your name and address
- improvements you made
- cost of each improvement
- dates the improvements started and finished
If you aren't happy with the decision the Housing Executive made about your claim for compensation, you can appeal. You must appeal within 28 days of receiving the decision by writing to the area manager.
Maximum amount for an improvement
You can receive up to £3,000 for each improvement. You won't receive any compensation for an improvement if compensation would be under £100.
How the Housing Executive works out compensation
Your district office may ask you for proof of the improvement costs. You should keep bills and receipts and send copies to your district office when the improvement work is finished.
If you got a grant or self-help payment, the Housing Executive will take off this amount from the cost of the improvement.
The value of any improvement falls as the improvement gets older and as you get use out of it. The compensation you get takes account of the age of the improvement.
Your compensation may also be reduced if the Housing Executive believes you paid too much for the improvement, or the work was done to a higher specification. They may also increase or reduce your compensation depending on the condition of the improvement when your tenancy ends.
If you owe the Housing Executive rent, they can take what you owe from the compensation.
- you install a kitchen sink costing £200. The notional life of the kitchen sink is 20 years
- the improvement is discounted at £10 per year
- compensation is claimed two years after the improvement is made
- £200/20 years = £10 per year; two years @ £10 = £20
- £200 cost - £20 = £180 compensation
Compensation for former tenants
If you were a secure tenant who made improvements to your home and your tenancy has ended, you could claim compensation if the Housing Executive agreed the improvements.